TAKING SUO motu notice of a letter seeking directions for fixing responsibility in the incident of a school bus falling into a canal and killing seven students and injuring around 15 near Attari in Amritsar on September 20, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to the Punjab government.
A Mohali resident, Ram Kumar, in his letter addressed to the High Court, has submitted that as per newspaper reports, the reason for the accident was the dilapidated condition of the bridge crash railing which failed to resist the bus that had gone out of control.
He has further submitted that as per news reports, the Amritsar administration failed to undertake timely repair of the dilapidated bridges and construct the new ones though as many as 86 such bridges without any railing were identified about two years ago.
Kumar has submitted, “the main villain of the misfortune and also of earlier such ones, happens no other but the slipshod and trashy natured approach of the government/ administration”.
The petitioner has sought directions from the High Court to get the responsibility fixed right from bottom to the top in the administration for showing total negligence in the matter of maintenance of roads and bridges, especially, when so many bad roads/bridges were identified about two years ago.
Kumar has further requested the court for directions to the state for undertaking the repair/maintenance work of all the roads and bridges in the state at a war footing and complete the same within a minimum specific period.
Citing other such instances of road accidents, the petitioner submitted that in 2014 four persons were killed on the spot in an accident on Kharar-Ambala road near Mohali and as per the news reports, driver of the bus to avoid hitting a pothole on the road swerved the bus which collided with a car.
Kumar has then moved a petition before the Mohali Lok Adalat and after Lok Adalat’s directions, Mohali administration had filled up potholes in the district last year but again the district administration turned a blind eye about road conditions.
Punjab government has been directed by the High Court to submit its reply by November 8.